5th October 2007
Prescott rejects Russian church leader’s gay hate
6:03 PM — John Prescott, the former British Deputy Prime Minister, joined European Parliamentarians yesterday in petitioning the head of the Russian Orthodox Church about his homophobic views.The petition read: "We urge Patriarch Alexy to avoid the use of language inciting intolerance and to respect, rather than seek to deny, the fundamental rights of sexual minorities."Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II had called homosexuality an "illness" and attacked what he called "homosexual propaganda."
Gay fundraiser to be picketed by trans activists
5:50 PM — America's leading LGBT rights organisation is bracing itself for protests tomorrow at a key fundraising event.Tomorrow night's Human Rights Campaign's National Dinner in Washington, D.C will be picketed by trade unionists, trans groups and others over its position on new legislation designed to protect people from workplace discrimination.The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) originally contained measures to protect trans workers.
Gay rights off the agenda for African church leaders
5:16 PM — A meeting of African Anglican Archbishops avoided homosexuality yesterday, a topic dividing their Communion, in favour of other issues affecting the continent.The gathering took place in Mauritius and was chaired by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, an outspoken opponent of gay rights.Last month he criticised the US Episcopal Church for not making a clear stand against consecrating gay clergy or blessing gay unions.
Australian trans passport victory
4:55 PM — A tribunal in Australia has created the country's first legally recognised same-sex married couple and overturned a government decision about a trans woman's new passport.Grace Abrams was refused a female passport by the Foreign Affairs department despite having undergone transition between 2001 and 2005.She married her partner Fiona Power while still transitioning, and the authorities said that in order to get a new birth cerificate and therefore a passport idenitfying her as female, she would have to divorce.
Gay bomb proposal wins satirical prize 1
3:20 PM — Preliminary research by the US Armed Forces into the development of a so-called "gay bomb" has won an Ig Nobel prize at an awards ceremony at Harvard University.Organised by the scientific magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the Ig Nobels are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and reward ten achievements that, "first make people laugh, and then make them think."
Sentenced to 7,000 lashes for sodomy in Saudi Arabia 8
1:15 PM — Two men have been publicly flogged in Saudi Arabia after being found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to 7,000 lashes.The men, who have not been identified, received an unspecified number of lashes in the south-western city of Al-Bahah on Tuesday evening, according to a report from the Al-Okaz daily.The men will remain in prison until the rest of their punishment can be completed.
Murdoch tabloid in trouble again over LGBT slurs
12:55 PM — American tabloid newspaper the New York Post has been condemned by gay activists for using the term "she-male" to refer to a trans person.The Rupert Murdoch-owned title has long been hostile to the sensibilites of the LGBT community.The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today condemned parent company News Corporation for latest in the paper's "series of dehumanising insults directed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."
Conservative anger over cruising ground firefighters 41
12:49 PM — A Conservative councillor is seeking to overturn the punishment of four firefighters from Avon Fire and Rescue Service who were reported after shining torches on gay men cruising in Bristol Downs.Bristol city councillor Spud Murphy labelled the decision to discipline the men for misuse of fire equipment and bringing the service into disrepute after the incident in June as "barmy", echoing outrage already shown by the tabloids.One of the men caught in the firefighter's torchlight later filed a complaint under advice from charity Terrence Higgins Trust.
THT launches drugs awareness campaign
11:50 AM — Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a new campaign this week to provide support and information to gay men about drugs, HIV and sex.The new scheme offers outreach work, one-to-one counselling and a series of information booklets examining how different drugs affect health, sexual behaviour and HIV medication.The Gay Men's Sex Survey (2005) showed that drug use was widespread amongst gay men. Men who use drugs were more likely to have unprotected anal sex.
Senator refused appeal against cruising confession 3
11:23 AM — A leading Republican politician has been refused permission to challenge his guilty plea to charges of cruising in an airport toilet.US Senator Larry Craig, 62, served in the House before winning his first Senate term in 1990, and compiled a strongly conservative voting record.He was arrested on June 11th by an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis airport men's room.
Comment: ENDA only protects straight-acting people 21
10:56 AM — After many years working as a bartender for Harrah's Casino, Darlene Jespersen was fired for failing to conform to the Casino's new 'personal best' grooming policy.As a female bartender, Jesperson was required to have her hair "teased, curled, or styled," and to wear stockings.Jesperson was also suddenly required to put on makeup everyday: lipstick and nail polish mandatory.
Teenagers face jail for homophobic hate crime
10:37 AM — Two Vermont teens are being charged with a hate crime and face up to five years in prison for allegedly spray painting antigay slogans on and slashing the tires of a pair of vehicles belonging to two men joined in a civil union.16-year-old Melissa Gaboury pleaded not guilty to charges of hate-motivated unlawful mischief and unlawful trespass after police found a knife and spray paint underneath the backseat of her SUV, while her sister, Meghan Gaboury, 18, is still being sought by police.According to WCAX News, the sisters are related to the one of the victims.
Mystery death of lesbian solider in Afghanistan
10:10 AM — Senior American politicians and a group fighting for gay rights in the military have called for an investigation into the suspicious death of Specialist Ciara Durkin, a lesbian service member with the Massachusetts Army National Guard.Specialist Durkin's body was discovered on September 27th at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan with a gunshot wound to the head.She was set to return from duty in January to marry her partner. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts.